Before their decimation, a single flock of passenger pigeons could have 2 billions birds or more, and there were multiple flocks of birds in the United States.
An equal number of tourists flood the area from May to October every year to enjoy the white sand beaches and warm waters. Once abundant in some areas of the Pacific, Caribbean, and Mediterranean seas, the monk seal became extinct in the Caribbean in the s see Case Study on the Caribbean Monk Seal.
Monk seals survive in low numbers in a few places in the Mediterranean and Hawaii. These population of monk seals have been separated for so long that scientists consider them separate speciesalthough physically and behaviorally they are very similar.
As recently as the 16th century, there were enough Mediterranean monk seals to fuel a commercial harvest. There are fewer than remaining in the wild today.
The most tropical of seals, the monk seal looks like a big-eyed torpedo. Reaching about 6 feet 1. Monk seals feed at night mostly in shallow coastal waters and sleep on beaches during the heat of day, often digging down to lie in cooler, damp sand.
They eat spiny lobsters, eels, octopus, and some reef fishes. Monk seals reproduce slowly, sometimes only every other year, starting at the age of four. Adult females, larger than the males, come ashore to give birth to one pup, then remain on the beach nursing and protecting the pup for up to six weeks.
Living off stored fat, the female does not leave the pup even to feed herself during this period. The pup may stay with its mother for as long as three years after weaning. Causes of Endangerment Hunting This shore loving, easy to approach seal was slaughtered in droves for food by early seafaring explorers and native peoples alike.
It is still sometimes killed by fishers who see it as competition for food fish. In addition, tons of industrial and agricultural pollutants and sediments flow into the Mediterranean from its feeder rivers and streams.
Disturbance by Humans The shy monk seal is easily disturbed by humans, and most remaining Mediterranean monk seals come ashore only in small, hidden coastal caves and beaches. Long-line and net fisheries also injure and drown monk seals. Approximately 1, Hawaiian monk seals remained as of These seals breed almost exclusively on protected islands within the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge, where human disturbance is carefully controlled.
However, only a few hundred females remain in the Hawaiian population. This imbalance between males and females is interfering with reproduction. Some females are so isolated that they do not encounter other monk seals during the breeding season.
In other areas, the few females are mobbed by males and may be injured or killed when the males attempt to mate. Biologists are testing a program of relocating females, and darting surplus males with a testosterone-suppressant drug to control aggression.
The imbalance of males to females is a serious threat to the survival of the Hawaiian monk seal. Because so many different countries occupy the shores of the Mediterranean, coordinated conservation efforts have been difficult.MEDITERRANEAN MONK SEAL AN ENDANGERED SPECIES.
Nearly million people live along the Mediterranean Sea’s 28, miles (45, km) of coastline. An equal number of tourists flood the area from May to October every year to enjoy the white sand beaches and warm waters.
THE PASSENGER PIGEON EXTINCT. How could the passenger pigeon be extinct when it was the most abundant bird species on Earth no so long ago?. It is almost impossible to imagine that the passenger pigeons’ population, which in the early ’s contained more individuals than all other North American birds combined, was reduced to just one individual, Martha, who died in captivity at the.
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